Monday status conference: Decisions, death penalty and ducking

supremeleftDecember is usually a sleepy time on the Hill, but not this week. The Supreme Court could issue opinions or add cases to its docket today. Friday the Court agreed to take up a case involving a $500 million asbestos-related settlement and another case involving taxation of vessels in a city port.

On the Hill, the failed auto industry bailout is a signal to folks in other industries that getting help from the feds is no sure thing is this sputtering economy.

And President George W. Bush is on his way home from Iraq, where he bid farewell and ducked shoes.

Meanwhile,

No cool COLA for judges: Federal judges were on the losing end of a bid to get a cost-of-living adjustment to boost their salaries. (BLT).

Stevens suspended: In a move that could thwart his changes of snagging a post-conviction position as a practicing attorney, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ D.C. bar license has been suspended. (AP)

AG’s first recusal? If confirmed as attorney general, Eric Holder may have to consider removing himself from overseeing the Chicago corruption probe that ensnared Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich because he could be listed as a possible witness. (AP)

DOJ issues death penalty rule: The Department of Justice has handed down controversial regulations fast-tracking death penalty cases in some states. (The National Law Journal).

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